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Cubs Notes: Tanaka to Cubs gains momentum; Parks talks Cubs prospects; Cubs sign arb-eligible players

Cubs Notes: Tanaka to Cubs gains momentum; Parks talks Cubs prospects; Cubs sign arb-eligible players

The two big stories of late are Tanaka and prospects talk, so let's head into the convention weekend with a few news and notes...

Hoyer Speaks

Jed Hoyer is intrigued by Masahiro Tanaka's youth, noting that you don't often get to pick up a free agent at that age (25), but he was silent otherwise on the Japanese RHP.

Hoyer did talk, however, about spending money,

“I have no doubt we have the money to go out and improve the major league team, and I have no doubt that in the future we’ll be able to go out and make significant commitments and retain our team to make it better,” Hoyer said. “Our focus is on building that foundation that could lead to sustained success.”

Hoyer also chimed in on the Cubs DP combo...

  • Barney is working hard with assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley.  Said Hoyer, "“What happened at the plate last year can’t happen again." Hoyer, also added that Barney needs to stop trying to hit for power.  Hmm...where have we heard that before?  In our 2nd base preview, we noted, "You don't need to be a professional hitting coach to know that Barney shouldn't be hitting more fly balls.  That seemed to be a general trend with more than a few Cubs hitters last season and while it upped their power totals, there was a price to pay. BABIPs went down and so did the batting averages and BABIP.  But it may have had the greatest negative effect on Barney who doesn't have the raw power to survive hitting too many balls in the air."
  • Hoyer also reminds us that Starlin Castro showed up to spring training out of shape last year and is working with strength coach Tim Buss to avoid a repeat.  Castro did look a little beefy last year and perhaps he can replace some of that soft weight with lean muscle, allowing him to retain his average power and perhaps improve his speed and range in the field.

Tanaka speculation gaining momentum

On the surface this looks pretty timely.  The Cubs convention starts today and suddenly the Cubs are right in the thick of all of this Tanaka talk.  The latest tweet to get Cubs fan buzzing comes fromm ESPN’s Jason Starks:

“... amazing how many owners in Ariz. were convinced #Cubs are ready to blow away the field & sign Tanaka to a monster deal.”

Similarly I have heard about the Cubs long time serious interest in Tanaka from scouts outside the organization.  I first wrote about it in early September.  This isn't new to me or the readers here.  I've been saying this was the case for quite some time.  The fact that Tanaka's deadline coincides closely with the Cubs convention doesn't negate what I've heard from very reliable people for 4 months.

If this is marketing, then the Cubs are getting a lot of help from other owners and scouts.  And why would they have any incentive to do that?

  • One more note: Joe Ostrowski of The Score tweets that the Cubs are now the favorites in Las Vegas to sign Tanaka.  The odds are 3/2.  Yankees are next at 2/1 and the Dodgers are at 5/1.  The Sox and Mariners are currently at 10/1.

Professor Parks on Cubs Prospects

In other news, Jason Parks had some interesting things to say about a number of Cubs prospects in his chat today.

Here are some excepts...

On Kris Bryant...

The playable power is obviously legit; could play to plus-plus, which means he could hit 35 bombs. But I think the swing and miss will be a bigger issue than some are suggesting, and that could limit some of the power. At the end of the day, I think he's a first-division right fielder with several all-star level seasons on the resume. I expect a lot of power but not a high average.

On whether Kyle Hendricks will be a "guy" (impact pitcher) for the Cubs in the future..

Not really. He will contribute, which is a developmental win. But he's not a top ten talent in their system and his long term future is more of a back-end type at best.

On Javier Baez's ceiling

One front office source told me that thinks Baez has hall of fame potential. No don't go crazy with one projection, but if you really believe in the bat--meaning you think he will reach his offensive projections--35+ home runs is possible, all from a left-side of the diamond home. This is an extreme opinion, but not all that crazy when it comes to potential. Javier Baez could have a very special bat; the hand/eye, the bat speed, the raw strength are elite. If he puts it all together, he could be one of the best players in the game. If he stays healthy and consistent once he achieves that level, the hyperbole and hype of the present won't seem so crazy.

Parks also said that Baez and Byron Buxton have the highest ceilings of any prospect in the game right now.

On Arismendy Alcantara and his power potential

Alcantara was ranked 83 on the BP 101 ( I think). I don't think he's going to be a big power bat at the major league level, but you can't sleep on his pop. Getting to watch his BP behind the cage really turned me on to his raw pop; quick path to the ball but excellent extension through it, which created loud contact. I was impressed with the player. It's been said before, but he really does remind me (and others) of Jose Reyes-light.

On Jorge Soler

Elite raw power, but the utility is unlikely to play that high. Soler struggles with the adjustment game, both during at-bats and during games. Not that he's an easy out; he's not. But he has more tools than skills, and pitchers with a plan of attack can exploit his weaknesses. His slow to adjust approach makes the exploitation that much easier, as the recipe will continue to be effective. I don't question his #want as much as I question his feel for the game.

Parks is also a fan of Paul Blackburn, saying he may take a big step forward.  As you all know, Paul Blackburn is my pitching man crush equivalent to Albert Almora among the position players.

And also good to hear Parks is a fan of writer Don DeLillo, of whom I've made a reference or two on this blog in the past.

Arbitration signing day

  • The Cubs avoided arbitration with Luis Valbuena and agreed on a one year deal worth 1.71M.  I expect the Cubs to come to terms with all their arb players before the deadline with the possible exception of Jeff Samardzija, who is working on a long term deal.
  • The Tribune reports that the Cubs have agreed with Nate Schierholtz on a one year $5M deal.
  • Joel Sherman reports that the Cubs and James Russell have agreed to a $1.775M deal.

 

We'll update the signings here as they come.

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  • @worldseriesdreaming reports that Nate Schierholtz settles at $5 million for the 2014 season. Isn't Twitter just great? Thanks John for the great work. Hoping we do, in fact, land the big one.

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    Landing Tanaka would give me more incentive to renew my mlb.tv subscription, and may consider adding milb.tv as well, because that's where the excitement is for me. I'm on board with the rebuild, but I also am looking for improvement on the big club in year 3 of the FO. tanaka speeds up the timetable, I think, and maybe gives Shark incentive to sign a long-term deal.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    You bring up an interesting point here because I don't think you are the only one. Signing Tanaka could mean a lot of increased interest in the Cubs, interest that could translate to revenue for them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Especially from overseas. Japanese media went wild covering Ichiro, Fukedome, Nomo, Darvish when they first arrived. Right now, I see a Tanaka signing as acomplete positive. Last night on the MLB TV, Al Leiter says Tanaka has the best splitter hes seen, even better than what Sutter, Mike Scott or Paul Shuey threw.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Absolutely! A warning, however. Not signing him is likely to have the opposite effect.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I've seen a few posts about a Tanaka signing acting as incentive for Samardzija to sign a long-term deal, but I really think it would have the opposite effect.

    If the Cubs sign Tanaka for $20M+ AAV, it's hard to believe Samardzija's camp would be willing to accept a significantly lower team-friendly offer. Especially considering Samardzija has had some success in MLB as opposed to Tanaka's inexperience, as well as Samardzija having less than half the amount of innings on his arm, I could see Samardzija's agent actually using Tanaka's contract as leverage against the Cubs in negotiations.

    I'm not saying I'm opposed to signing Tanaka (I'm all for it), I just think it would virtually guarantee Samardzija wouldn't sign an extension.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    I don't think that the FO will have trouble dishing out money for Samardzija once the time comes. From a lot of the reports I have seen, he wants FA money now. That is a little unrealistic considering we have two more years of arbitration dollars ahead and, although he has the skills and has shown glimpses of brilliance, he hasn't put together a full season.

    I don't think we will really see what Samardzija is capable of until we see him on a competitive team. Tanaka may provide that.

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    I can live with that for Schierholtz, but it is probably a little more than he is actually worth. 5-7M is probably the top end of what I would go for the services of a top end, left side of a platoon player.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    He's about a 1 WAR player, so it's about right from a value standpoint -- but the Cubs can probably get similar production from a cheaper player down the road.

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    Twitter is great. We actually added that on, though it probably updated after your comment. We used the Trib article.

  • Thanks and enjoy your upcoming vacation. What kind of problem
    will happen if a number of the non-roster players make the team

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thanks E. I don't think a lot of non-roster players will make the team. I'd be surprised if it's more than 1 or 2. I think an OF has the best chance and the other opportunity may be for a pitcher, but that's a tougher squeeze.

  • Heyman:"Tanaka derby: Cubs, Chisox seen (by others) as threat to beat Yanks, LA"

  • In reply to Oneear:

    If the White Sox get him i would be so disappointed. I can live with it if the Yanks/Dodgers get as it could have come down to a comfort situation where he just preferred those cities. But to lose oout on him to the Sox would be a very bitter pill.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    White Sox all happy to spend money now that they don't have to do it in the draft or with younger amateur players. That said, I can't imagine them outbidding the Cubs or Tanaka wanting to go there instead of the Cubs.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's the part of that rumor that makes no sense to me. If he wants to win immediately, I get that. The Yankees and the Dodgers are much better positioned to do that. Even with Abreu and Tanaka, the White Sox need all kinds of things to go right to compete with the Tigers and even the Indians next year.

    If you're looking at competitiveness over the life of the Contract, the Cubs and the Dodgers run circles around the White Sox.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Classic heyman, oh no someone's tweeting a rumor, gotta add pointless detail and retweet.

  • I happen to agree with just about everything Parks states regarding the prospects. I have the same hopes/concerns regarding Bryant and Soler. And I do think Javy has HOF potential (although I guess that was a front office guy's opinion and not Parks). People freak out about Javy's strikeouts, but there are no holes in his swing and there is not a pitch in the strike zone he cannot handle. His issue is being overly aggressive outside the strike zone. Bryant, at his height and size, may end up being susceptible on the inner half and at the top of the strike zone the way many tall hitters with long arms are. The one positive he has over Javy is he appears to have better strike zone judgment. They both have the same power potential, but I think Javy has a much better chance of being both a good hitter and slugger than Bryant. And I have thought since my first few viewings of Soler that he was going to end up as a frustrating, more skill than production type of player in the majors. I think he can still be productive and useful and maybe even have a couple of real impact seasons, but I think he is going to be one of those guys that always leaves you wanting more.

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    Tanaka to the White Sox buzz is starting to pick up on Twitter. That would hurt.

    I think the Cubs had Brumley work with Barney after reading your article. ;-)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    What sources are tweeting Sox involvement? I haven't seen any.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Seems to have started with this Ken Davidoff (NY Post) tweet: The #Cubs and #WhiteSox are both serious contenders for Masahiro Tanaka. #Yankees #Dodgers http://bit.ly/1i69tAF

    Then Heyman chimed in: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/01/17/heyman-cubs-white-sox-seen-as-serious-threat-to-get-tanaka/

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Ha! I probably shouldn't advise anyone on hitting. I was a slap-hitting, choke up on the bat kind of hitter --- but I will say I teach better than I hit. I changed my nephews stance and swing and turned him from a struggling hitter to little league all-star. So I got that going for me :)

  • A tweet out there from Rosenthal saying that the Mariners are out of money and need ownership approval for more money. They could be out of Tanaka sweepstakes.

    Yankess are going to be at the $189 MM limit without Tanaka. That means in essance that a $20MM contract will actually be $40MM because of the penalty. Ouch.

    The Dodgers have 7 guys making over $14MM annually. Can they go with an 8th?

    Cubs have to be the front runner right now though I am surprised by the line above about the White Sox being in play.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    John heyman: dodgers and Yankees fear the cubs and white sox.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    John heyman: dodgers and Yankees fear cubs and white sox. Vegas odds cubs 3:2

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Thanks. Added the Vegas odds thing. That's encouraging. Growing perception the Cubs are legit here. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Me too, but damn, if it doesn't happen now, it might hurt a little worse.

    Either way I still say offer a killer signing bonus. Hurts the Yankees more this year, and even the Dodgers might not want to pony up so much cash in one go. On top of that it makes the following years (when we actually want to spend other money) more palatable.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Absolutely, you get the feeling that they're at the 1 yard line, and it would be a tremendous disappointment if they can't punch it in at this point.

    I'm with you on the signing bonus & front loading the deal. I would get creative with that contract, would sell him on Chicago as a rabid sports town including taking him to a Blackhawks game like they did the prospects, would tell him about the Cubs way, how they have rebuilt the entire organization with a clear plan, the past success of this front office, the possibility of breaking the curse, everything. I'd do everything possible to impress his wife too.

    Ohh it's going to be a long week!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm hoping we know earlier because everything has to be done by Friday, including physicals and the actual signing of the contract. Stands to reason this could be decided by Tuesday or Wednesday.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope so! It will still be a long 4-5 days!

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Oh, I'm going to be disappointed -- even though I know there is a good chance Tanaka chooses to play elsewhere. I won't be disappointed in the Cubs effort -- only if they don't get him despite of their efforts.

  • Do the WS have a good farm system?

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    Possibly the worst in baseball. If tanaka goes to the Sox, we'll know it was all about the money.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    No.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    White Sux are ranked near the bottom. I beleive #30 out of 32 last year.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I saw something last year that had the white sox around #25. Also last time I checked there were only 30 teams in MLB.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    One of the very worst. Not just in terms of players but in terms of development. Courtney Hawkins has all kinds of tools but was really raw. Unsurprisingly, he's struggling in the Sox system.

  • Wow, there's betting on where Tanaka is going to sign.

    Maybe he should tell the Eagles where he will sign in a couple of days so they can place a bet and make more than posting fee.

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    In reply to ucandoit:

    They have odds on American Idol in Vegas.

  • I really like Parks take on Cubs prospects with one exception... I believe Hendricks is going to surprise a lot of people and become a star. In fact, he could turn out better than Edwards or Johnson. The guy has the ability to get hitters out ala Tom Galvin or any other comp with pitchers with similar K rates. If he shows good results in ST it would be quite a statement if he were to make the ML roster- it's time a prospect broke through to serve notice that the wave of minor league talent is coming.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I wouldn't say Hendricks compares very well to Glavine. If I had to pick one guy that most reminds me of what Hendricks can be in a best case scenario, it's Doug Fister. Both pitchers have good command, good change-ups and have average stuff but they throw it with good downward plane that helps them induce weak contact. Of course, Fister is a giant, so he has a natural advantage with being able to throw with plane, but I think Hendricks does a good job with it using good leverage to make up some of the difference. If he turns out anything close to Fister, I think Cubs fans should be happy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Back in '87 I drafted Glavine onto my strat-o-matic keeper league team in the 3rd round. The league commisioner said It was a wasted pick. People didn't think much of Tommy at the time.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    p.s. that league is still going, albeit without me.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    IMO, Hendricks compares to Dillon Gee, Mike Leake, and Jeff Locke among others. The best comparison though is to Gee who throws about the same pitches and velocity.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Paulson, at least someone is giving the kid some love. I promise you he will prove all these so called experts wrong. All he does is get outs. Isn't that what pitching is all about? I hope they like eating Crow!

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    In reply to golfpro:

    I agree with you golfpro

  • In reply to golfpro:

    Pitching is about a lot more than minor league stats. I hope he succeeds, but pitchers with his profile at least merit some healthy skepticism. I hope he proves everyone wrong, but that doesn't mean people should overvalue his minor league numbers right now.

  • I'm not a huge barney fan, but don't sleep on him rebounding this year. If he can match his 2011 production to go with that glove, we have a very flippable commodity at the deadline.

    I would mostly agree with Parks on our prospects.

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    My pessimistic side says all this Cubs and White Sox talk is just part of the process to drive the price up for the Yankees. They are a win-now team that will not do so without improving their starting rotation, though Garza, Santana and Jimenez are still out there as well if they can't get Tanaka.

    Hopefully, between offering a lot of the little things aside from money and the extra cash it will be enough for the Cubs to land him.

  • if you want the best indicator on whats really happening Vegas is it, they are not in the business of losing money , They are connected at the highest levels and there must be very good insider information that the Cubs are lapping the field for Tanaka to lay those odds. Did Theo pull the suit out of the closet?monkeys

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    mokey suit meant to say, must be a space bar snafu there

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Ha! I was wondering what you meant there.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    The way vegas odds work are based on the amount of $$ being bet by the public on that team. Odds are down to 3/2 on the Cubs because the public $ is heavy on them, not because any vegas insider thinks they are the front runner

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    not the opening lines , vegas sets those with the very best information possible and any statistical information available, yes the line swings according to where the money is being bet, if the opening line is Cubs 3/2 based on Vegas's info then its very encouraging. Plus do you really think the Cubs are going to Joe Q Publics favorite, everyone not connected would be betting Yankees or Dodgers .

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    You are absolutely correct Craven. I never got excited about Tanaka until Vegas made them the 3-2 favorite instead of the Yankees. That was enough for me.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    right, and I could be mistaken, but seeing as Tanaka was posted 2-3 weeks ago, I was assuming the line is down to 3-2. If it just opened for betting today, then okay-that's pretty cool news. Yes, I do think the public would do this. Every year the Cubs odds to win the world series are a terrible value because it is such a popular yearly public bet.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    The line actually opened 12/26. Here were the odds at open.

    NYY - 3/2
    LA Dodgers - 11/4
    Seattle - 5/1
    Cubs - 7/1
    Red Sox - 10/1
    Arizona - 12/1
    Rangers - 15/1
    Angels - 15/1
    Toronto - 18/1
    White Sox - 18/1

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    ok thanks then it could be public money but my guess is a few insiders have made huge bets on the Cubs . its not the actually number of betters its the dollars . Average John Q think Yankees/ Dodgers which tells me to move the line from 7/1 to Cubs 3/2 the sharps have made some huge bets on the Cubs. Thanks for the info Dged .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    No problem, Bryan. Hope the lines play out right....if we ship Tanaka, the offseason will end up being an enormous success.

  • Gotta say that Valbuena at $1.71M, Schierholtz at $5M deal, and Russell at $1.775M each sounds like a fair shake for both players and team. Might be a bit of an overpay for Schierholtz, but if so not by much. Just gotta figure out some middle ground with Samardzija now. Extension this year, or not, him feeling relatively happy and non-disgruntled about his immediate future with the Cubs could go a long way to how well he starts out of the gate.

    Also very good to hear that Barney is working on his hitting (especially keeping it on the ground), and that Castro is hitting the fitness bandwagon hard this offseason.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    If Jeff doe not sign an extention then by July he is gone

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    More than likely emartinezjr. More than likely.

  • Someone said in a tweet or article that you can expect a decision on Tanaka around Tuesday or sooner. Teams will still want him to go through a physical and all. Everything needs to be completed by next Friday or the window is closed.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    He had a physical out here in LA already, the results of which were available to all bidders.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    True, but teams will also do their own before signing him.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    It was Kaplan. He said Tuesday or Wednesday because mlb won't extend the window for a physical. Everything has to be done Friday at 5

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    John-sorry about your dog.

    Who is going out to spring training in March?

    Brad Penny is off the board!

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    I don't have tickets or anything but I plan to make the drive from LA at some point.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Been thinking about it. But I usually pick years when I figure it won't be overly crowded and/or there happens to be a Blackhawks game against Phoenix and that way I can kill two birds. But with the presumed crowds wanting to see the new facility and no hawks game this year I'm not sure it would be worth it. Of course it is probably only going to get busier the next few years as (hopefully) the Cubs get better and there is more buzz about the team.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Thanks, Dale.

    No ST for me this year. Other traveling plans.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Got tickets to the 1st 5 games. Mostly sitting amongst the scouts so I can get radar readings. Hopefully, I will be getting readings on Tanaka's pitches...

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    I'm going the 3rd week of March. Have tickets for all games Sunday the 16th through Thursday the 20th. I'm out on the berm for the 3 day games in Mesa and in the grandstands for the night games with the Rangers and the Rockies.

  • If the they overpay by alot to get Tanaka any big money left for Jeff

  • I am in the camp because of his age its better to trade him as long as they get a guy back who is close and preferably at least #2 projectability . I think Sark is what he is an innings eating SO guy but who lacks consistency . Tanaka or not I would rather have a couple younger arms like Aaron Sanchez types

  • Does anyone know what Tanaka's flyball/groundball splits are? Cellular is no place for a flyball pitcher. that said, the Sox always have more money than people think they do and I am sure if they want to be a player they can be.

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    In reply to RTGrules:

    He relies heavily on his splitter, and therefore gets a lot of his outs on the ground. He also gets a fair amount of strikeouts, but that number is expected to go down in the majors, although I wonder about that, given the emphasis on power (and the tradeoff is a higher K rate) in the American game.

  • Dale and oneear--I'm out here already, have season tickets and there are a couple of games I can't make. My seats are 16 rows behind the Cubs dugout in the shade. Let me know if you're interested. You can get my e-mail from John.

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    I think John needs to get his but out to run some errands. We always hear big news when John is away.

    Hey John, beat it pal!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Haha! I will be away tonight at a post Cubs Convention gathering. Maybe something will happen then?

    I'll be out of the country in February. If something big doesn't happen then, then I'm thinking that will be it until opening day :)

  • Regarding Soler, couldn't the club just hire or assign someone to track his plate appearances during a game and help him figure out how a pitcher or team is attacking him? I would assume every team has 'in-game' analysis for everything - but it also wouldn't surprise me to learn that the Cubs were one of the last teams to integrate this into their game plan....

  • In reply to Roscoe Village:

    Part of it is always instinct. I imagine Soler hasn't had a good chance to develop them simply because he hasn't played at a high level very long. He's had injuries and the time he missed because of his defection. Soler might need more time than the other big 3.

  • Maybe they already signed Tanaka and they will announce it at convention tonight

  • In reply to Craig:

    Now wouldn't that be nice?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You can do your part by shutting off all outside communications and enjoying a quiet night with your wife and dog.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The 69 Jersey was always my favorite.

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    In reply to David Logue:

    Obviously this was intended as a reply to the next post! LOL

  • a new road alternate jersey was released at the Cubs Convention today

    http://news.sportslogos.net/2014/01/17/chicago-cubs-unveil-four-throwback-jerseys-for-2014/

  • In reply to David Davidon:

    Already have a couple of these...
    "Cuba" jersey
    78 Kingman

    I like the 69 Banks jersey too.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I wonder if the '37 jersey is gonna be available?
    I REALLY like it.
    Make mine a Baez or Bryant...

  • I'm curious and not being facetious, but when I continue to read that the Cubs will not be beaten or are putting together a monster package, what kinda numbers are we talking about here?

    For example, if the Dodgers are going to offer him a Kershaw level contract, do the Cubs beat that? Or if he says I am going to sign with the Dodgers unless you give me 3 more years and 10% more AAV, do the Cubs do that?

    In other words, at what point does this contract have the potential to become an albatross if the Cubs go overboard?

  • In reply to Monkey Shines:

    as per Heyman: "Estimates for Tanaka's eventual deal have ranged from about $120 million to $140 million but at least two executives on interested teams suggest now it's possible someone may go as high as $175 million. Tanaka's team Rakuten will get $20 million from the winning bidder."

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    In reply to Oneear:

    Almost 200mil for Tanaka is cringe-worthy, Nonetheless I think we still have to do it if it gets that high. The potential revenue and good press Tanaka would bring to Chicago could make up for the overpay.

    Just hope he's not Matsuzaka....

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I don't believe the Cubs should offer Tanaka 20 million dollars a season or more than that. Hopefully any offer that they might have made is below that figure.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Don't know how interesting this is, and I hate to ever quote Wittenmyer, but he wrote "Ricketts might have been better served by making a cash call on the family, assuming the bank covenants tied to the Cubs’ mammoth purchase debt don’t forbid that. (A source close to the business side of the operation said the family is allowed to spend its own money on players if it chooses.)"
    This is nice, if true, because it means ownership isn't handcuffed by the loan agreement.

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    I'll meet at the World Series instead. Cubs in 7.

  • Is the opening ceremony televised ?

  • Can any other team offer more money the first year of the contract?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think I have a similar question. Can the Cubs front load a contract to Tanaka for lets say $30 million the first year, $25 million the next and then the following four years at $20 million. It ends up being a HUGE six year contract for $135 million, which the Yankees might do, but not this way. Maybe this won't be much of an incentive for Tanaka, but I think it is a creative way to do something the Yankees probably can't do, unless they want to pay a big luxury tax.

  • In reply to David23:

    The Yankees have more revenue than the Cubs. They can pay whatever the Cubs can plus more. The potential penalty the Yankees will pay is based on the average dollar amount of the contract, not the first year amount. So front loading the contract has no effect on the penalty for the Yankees.

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    In reply to John57:

    Revenue isn't the only factor, though. They also have (significantly) higher costs than the Cubs.

  • In reply to John57:

    Upfront cash gets averaged, but it's a big deal for the player.
    They generally love cash now and hate deferred money.

    So give him big money the first two years.
    It's not like the Cubs have to pay anyone in 2014 & 2015.

    If it takes $140M / 7 years to get it done I'd go...
    30 - 30 - 16 - 16 - 16 - 16 - 16
    Then when it comes time to spend in 2016, Tanaka won't be a salary albatross. If he's an ace, $16M would be a bargain.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I understand why the player likes that. I was just commenting that the Yankees can do this too and probably with less trouble financially. The original comment was that the Yankees could not do this but I think they can and it will not raise their penalty.

  • In reply to John57:

    I understand.

    God bless the luxury tax. The Yankees may like Tanaka but since they have no prospects and need a lot more than just him, the Cubs can make every player they want to sign a lot more expensive.

    After next year they get to pay A-Roid again too. I guarantee that scumbag's gonna get every penny no matter how bad he stinks as a player.

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    David Kaplan Show ‏@davidkaplanshow 4m

    Just said by @thekapman, "I'm afraid I'm gonna die before the Cubs win it." Theo responds, "I'm sorry u have issues w/ your own mortality."

    Hahahahaha Love the response!

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    Looks like no Tanaka surprise tonight. Guess we'll just have to patient until Wednesday.

  • can someone tell me if the david Kaplan show comes on during or after the hawks game ?

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